Japan game sales slip 6.9% in 2009

Enterbrain reports region's software, hardware revenue sank to $5.91 billion; Nintendo DS, Dragon Quest IX led charts.

Much like the US market, the Japanese gaming industry has been unable to keep up with last year's pace. In July, Japanese stat-tracking firm and Famitsu publisher Enterbrain said that the island nation generated $2.3 billion from December 29, 2008 to June 28, off 24 percent from the same period a year ago. And while full-year sales were still down, the good news is that Japanese gaming industry made up a good bit of ground during the back half of the year.

Dragon Quest IX sold gangbusters in Japan last year.

As reported by Famitsu and translated by GameSpot, Enterbrain said today that Japanese game industry sales amounted to ¥542.6 billion ($5.91 billion) during the December 29, 2008-December 27, 2009 calendar year. That figure represents a 6.9 percent slip from 2008's tally of ¥582.6 billion ($6.35 billion).

Hardware sales contributed most heavily to Japan's sales decline, thanks in part to price cuts to the Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Total Japanese hardware sales came in at ¥216.5 billion ($2.36 billion), down 13.6 percent year-over-year. Handhelds led the charts, as the DS (including the DS Lite, DSi, and DSi LL) sold 4,025,313 units during the year, bringing lifetime sales in the region to 29,160,589. The PSP followed with 2,307,971 on the year in Japan and 13,386,455 lifetime sales to date.

The Wii led consoles sales in Japan with 1,975,178 units on the year and 9,501,999 since its release in December 2006. Sony's PS3 came in just behind that with 1,727,041 units sold, though it continues to trail Nintendo's popular console with 4,391,407 total systems sold. The Xbox 360 brought up the rear with just 331,706 systems sold during the year, giving it a lifetime tally in Japan of 1,197,873 units. Enterbrain did not offer sales figures for the PlayStation 2.

Software sales largely held steady during the year, slipping just 1.8 percent to ¥326.2 billion ($3.55 billion). Square Enix's Dragon Quest IX for the DS topped Enterbrain's sales chart, selling 4,100,968 units since its July 2009 release in Japan. A trio of Nintendo titles followed, as Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver sold 3,382,597 units, New Super Mario Bros. Wii shifted 2,485,150 copies, and Tomodachi Collection moved 2,311,948 games. Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIII, which launched exclusively for the PS3 in Japan in late December, rounded out the chart with 1,698,256 units sold.

JAPANESE VIDEO GAMES INDUSTRY - 2009
Hardware: ¥216,490,000,000 ($2.36 billion) / -13.6%
Software: ¥326,160,000,000 ($3.55 billion) / -1.8%
Total Games: ¥542,640,000,000 ($5.91 billion) / -6.9%

TOP-SELLING HARDWARE
Platform / 2009 Sales / LTD Sales
DS / 4,025,313 / 29,160,589
PSP / 2,307,971 / 13,386,455
Wii / 1,975,178 / 9,501,999
PlayStation 3 / 1,727,041 / 4,391,407
Xbox 360 / 331,706 / 1,197,873

TOP-SELLING SOTWARE
Rank / Title / Publisher / Platform / 2009 Unit Sales
1) Dragon Quest IX / Square Enix / DS / 4,100,968
2) Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver / Nintendo / DS / 3,382,597
3) New Super Mario Bros. Wii / Nintendo / Wii / 2,485,150
4) Tomodachi Collection / Nintendo / DS / 2,311,948
5) Final Fantasy XIII / Square Enix / PS3 / 1,698,256

Written By

Want the latest news about New Super Mario Bros. Wii?

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Follow

Discussion

102 comments
Solid_Snake4RD
Solid_Snake4RD

@ Yuck_Too yes the Wii has outsold the PS3 2:1 lifetime in japan,but most of Wii sales come in holiday periods.Wii outsells the ps3 by big amounts at holidays but comes equal rest of the year. look at 2009's sales,Wii isn't outselling PS3 2:1.they are almost equal

Solid_Snake4RD
Solid_Snake4RD

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

@Solid_Snake4RD "and Wii is not outselling the PS3 2:1.where the hell did you get that info.it did outsell the PS3 2:1 only during 2-3 weeks of holiday season" ~~~~ Ummm...the Article?... Wii 9,501,999 PS3 4,391,407 Works out to 2.16:1...kind of basic math.

Solid_Snake4RD
Solid_Snake4RD

@Yuck_Too i never said the PS3 will outsell the Wii's lifetime sales.I mean the PS3 will outsell the Wii sometimes on weekly basis.that's it. and Wii is not outselling the PS3 2:1.where the hell did you get that info.it did outsell the PS3 2:1 only during 2-3 weeks of holiday season.Apart from the Wii is only outselling the PS3 1.5-1 WW now.

nintendo-wins
nintendo-wins

Not only the price-cuts affected hardware sales (in yen), but the decline of the number of Wii consoles sold in Japan from last year is another factor.

windows3000000
windows3000000

guichan that's not true the ps3 dosen't have a lot of games but most of the games on the platform are very good.the 360s best games are fps though it has a wide selection

wiidsduelpack
wiidsduelpack

The only reason profits slipped, is because of the price drop of consoles. Sales were pretty much equivalent as of last year. Japan has the best developing game companies. / Sony

guichan
guichan

for me the nintendo Wii just lack of more great games for others publishers than nintendo itself , and capcom there's a lot of potential that could be explored even having a "weak hardware" its design seens to be more acceptable to motion control than the plans of the another consoles , and it already have a great market , PS 3 and Xbox 360 lack of games too there's so much FPS and there's almost no other kind of games

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

@ thekey, In my opinion, the Xbox 360 continues to be far more popular than the PS3 because of the fact that the majority of multiplatform games remain superior on Xbox 360. At this point enough time has passed that both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 have an excellent lineup of first-party games. Overall, the Xbox 360 still has a significantly larger lineup of games in every genre, particularly niche genres where the PS3 is still lacking (e.g., still no PS3 Tetris, even though Xbox 360 has two Tetris games--fundamental proof of what I am referring to). But it is the third-party games that represent two-thirds of a platforms lineup of software. New games like Bayonetta are so much better on the Xbox 360 with superior graphics and faster load times. I personally believe this is one of the most important reasons why the Xbox 360 continues to outsell the PS3. The fact that the Xbox 360 has reached the 1 Million milestone in the Japanese market is an incredibly impressive achievement. Nobody expected a foreign console to achieve such a high level of success in the Japanese market that is known for staying away from foreign products. The reason for this success is because the Xbox 360 has the biggest and best lineup of games in every genre this generation.

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

@brendanhunt1 When Microsoft said that they had "sold" 39 Million units worldwide, they literally meant that 39 Million units had been "sold to retail." This is the exact same definition that Nintendo uses when the word "sold" comes into play. Up until 2007, Sony used that same definition for the word "sold," as well. However, the PS3 ended up with a disappointing launch that was a sales failure. At the 2006 E3, Sony said their goal with the PS3 was to sell 6 Million units by the spring of 2007. When Sony said this, they meant "sell to retail." But in the spring of 2007 Sony changed their corporate definition of the word "sold" to mean "produced and placed into inventory" In other words, there are millions of PS3 units that Sony classifies as "sold," even though they are sitting in inventory warehouses where they have not yet been shipped to retailers. By the spring of 2007 Sony was only able to sell 1.4 Million PS3 units to retail. In fact, Sony was only able to produce 5.5 Million PS3 units by the spring of 2007. These disappointing numbers forced Sony into a position where the shareholders were very upset. As a result, Sony decided to literally change their corporate definition of the word "sold" to be synonymous with the word "produce." This is the reason why Sony's executive, Jack Tretton, was claiming that Sony had "sold" 5.5 Million units when only 1.4 Million units had been shipped to retailers who "owned" the consoles. In agreement with the Gamespot Terms of Use, I will post the hyperlink to this interesting interview. I believe this interview will be of interest to people who took the time to read a Sales article like this on the GameSpot website. hxxp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFIDsTsWJHw In this interview, you will see that Sony claims they are only 500,000 units behind their sales goal of 6 Million units, even though the charts clearly show that Sony was 4.6 Million units behind their sales goal. The reason for this conflict is because Sony literally changed their corporate definition of what the word "sold" meant. If you want to use a website like VG Chartz to compare the Wii and Xbox 360 to each other that is fine, because you are comparing apples to apples, since Nintendo and Microsoft currently use the same definition for the word "sold." However, if the PS3 enters the comparison you are comparing apples to oranges because Sony now uses a different definition for the word "sold." Personally, I do not recommend VG Chartz because they use a "proprietary" method of gathering data where the primary source of information is "from the manufacturer." This means that Sony is allowed to receive "sales" credit for the number of units "produced and placed in inventory" while Nintendo and Microsoft are limited to the number of units "shipped to retail." Sony's sales numbers make it "seem" like the sales gap is narrrower than it actually is. The proof of the wide gap in sales between the consoles is easily seen by the fact that the majority of multiplatform games on the Xbox 360 outsell their PS3 counterparts by at least a 2:1 ratio.

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

@ tevoxzi The hyperlink I posted directed you to an interview conducted on television with Sony executive, Jack Tretton. In this interview, a chart is clearly displayed showing that the PS3 had "sold" only 1.4 Million units. However, Sony claimed that the PS3 had "sold" 5.5 Million units, because 5.5 Million units were "produced." I explain this in great detail in my earlier comment where I point out how Sony literally changed their corporate definition of what the word "sold" meant in the spring of 2007.

Zerosx3
Zerosx3

@JoNo_MiKo Exactly, i forgot that, sorry, i was confused xD But well, i still hope this one is better than in story XII ^^ Too bad i was already spoiled about the end of the game x_x

thekey
thekey

@SalarianChemist Your post is full of lies Sony just announced that this holiday season that they sold 3.8 million.(sold not shipped) Which brings PS3's sales to 31 mil vs the 360's 39 mil(which it says the line 7:09pm yesterday at M$'s CES) Which proves 3 things 1.) VGchartz hadn't been updated yet, and the hyperlink you posted was 3 years old. Yet still 2.)I was right about you and now all of a sudden I mysteriously have a point loss. 3) And I don't know if your American or not, but to state that VGchartz isn't accurate but NDP is just shows where you really stand. Your a 360 fan-troll, that hates being wrong which you are wrong in this case. Also I know what I see in retail.(I work part-time at an America retailer) And I see what sells. Aside from the Hand helds dominating. PS3s sell alot more than 360s.(why? because the PS3 is "the new thing now" and the games have gotten better.) Not just because I like the PS3 better. It's just happening. Wiis picked up also. Not the 360 after MW2 was released it slowed down again.

TevoxZi
TevoxZi

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

"Microsoft just announced the Xbox 360 has passed 39 Million units sold worldwide" how do you know that that dosn't mean "Sold to retail", it would explain the huge gap on vgchartz

TevoxZi
TevoxZi

@SalarianChemist [quote="SalarianChemist"] For the record, I previously provided you with a hyperlink in my other comment. It proved that only 1.4 Million people "owned" the PS3 console, yet Sony was claiming that 5.5 Million units had been "sold," since that is the exact number that had been "produced." I certainly hope you classify that as "backing up" what I am saying after you "called me out." [/quote] How does your comment suddenly turn into proof? How do you prove that you're the one telling the fact instead of one shop that I buy from which themselves show the "most popular purchases" from their store where the 120GB PS3 Slim is #1 in their site right now clearly above X360 which didn't even make it to Top 10 with it's bundles. I'd believe VG Chartz too in this case, because it's true that PS3s are selling better than X360s in Europe. Maybe the numbers aren't exact, but they are pretty much close to what they are in reality and that won't change whatever you or anything else against it has to say.

akiwak
akiwak

*sigh* Fanboys, "Will we ever see them go away?"

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

@thekey, Microsoft just announced the Xbox 360 has passed 39 Million units sold worldwide. This is further proof of what I wrote earlier when I explained how VG Chartz cannot be trusted. Remember how I pointed out that VG Chartz data comes from a "proprietary" method that gathers data "from the manufacturer." Expect to see a 3 Million leap for the Xbox 360 on VG Chartz, simply because Microsoft made that announcement. This is the entire reason why VG Chartz cannot be trusted for the PS3. Sony no longer has the same "definition" of the word "sold" as Microsoft and Nintendo. As I explained in a previoius comment, Sony changed their corporate definition of the word "sold" in the spring of 2007. Sony no longer considers an item "sold" when it is "shipped to retailers or wholesalers" the way that Nintendo and Microsoft still do. Sony now considers an item "sold" the instant it has been "produced and put into inventory." This literally means there are millions of PS3 units that Sony claims are "sold" even though the units are sitting in inventory warehouses. I explained this in great detail in an earlier comment, pointing out that proof of this can be seen in the fact that Xbox 360 versions of software usually outsell PS3 versions by a 2:1 ratio, even though Sony claims to be "gaining ground" on Microsoft. Now that the sales data has been updated, we see that Microsoft maintained its 8 - 9 Million sales lead over the PS3 in North America. Remember, the only "truly" accurate sales data is what we get from NPD, which is related only to North America. Worldwide numbers are always debatable and unclear. There is absolutely no doubt the Wii is going to finish first in terms of overall console sales this generation. Similarly, there is absolutely no doubt the Xbox 360 is going to finish second and be ranked as the best-selling high-definition console. I am simply being a realist when I point out number-based statistical facts saying that the PS3 was and is a big financial disappointment for Sony and it will never come close to the 100 Million units sold by the PS1 and PS2. For the record, I previously provided you with a hyperlink in my other comment. It proved that only 1.4 Million people "owned" the PS3 console, yet Sony was claiming that 5.5 Million units had been "sold," since that is the exact number that had been "produced." I certainly hope you classify that as "backing up" what I am saying after you "called me out."

thekey
thekey

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

what is it about japanese where they will only buy something if it is japanese. I don't care where a hardware comes from my discision to buy it depends on how good it is. all the quality games on the xbox sold it to me.

frazzle00
frazzle00

@chartovar If you have a look at life time sales you can see that the PS3 has only sold nearly 4 times as many units as the 360. In the previous generation on the other hand the ratio of PS2 to Xbox units sold in Japan was much larger. So whilst the Xbox 360 will never outsell the PS3 in Japan, Microsoft has made significant progress this generation, and Sony have lost quite a lot of ground.

chartovar
chartovar

Great... it shows that Xbox has nothing to do in Japan! OUT!

oneligas
oneligas

this isn''t ground breaking news this is just the same old stuff. the japanese market has a different disposition towards Western(North American) games and consoles, the xbox won't sell as long as it is not a japanese product with japanese games.

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Why is Xbox so poor in Japan?? interesting reading :D

payne6705
payne6705

i never understood why some ppl just argue and defend consoles and companies especially in the video game industry its like omg he talked bad about sony so we all have to argue and say how 1 console is better than the other here is a new flash children they are corporations they are not paying u to defend them in a gaming website so why bother? I am pretty confident some1 trashing another system on a gaming forum will not throw that specific company into a econmic decline so why don't we all relax and play whatever console we have alright?..also I would like a ton of money to fall out of the sky as well

thedigitals
thedigitals

It's sad that nobody on this board is smart enough or has enough reading comprehension to understand what SalarianChemist is saying, it really just makes all those that disagree with him look like complete morons

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

SalarianChemist all the examples you given are at the launch of ps3, back when the over Optimistic Ken Kutaragi was head. and most of them aren't lies, just broken promises. i know VG Chartz cannot be 100% trusted with sales but there's no one else that is, there the most reliable one's available that does worldwide, NPD is only america.

tdawg2594
tdawg2594

@TevoxZi Exactly i remember when ff13 came out in japan vgchartz was extremely accurate on how many of the ps3 ff bundles there was that ship and how many that was sold the ps3 actually sold 1mil in 1 week which the xbox 360 has never done in its life span and the most it ever sold in 1 week would be around 877k . If he was to bring a argument about some of the platform titles then yes he has a point in that cause after a while vgchartz takes maybe a couple of months or week until they update the titles on the consoles but when it comes to the consoles sales they are always on point people are just dumb and don't know the difference between consoles and titles maybe if they did their research and actually see the number for themselves they would know also vgchartz always tell you when it was last updated i won't even respond to ridiculous long pointless microsoft word essay

TevoxZi
TevoxZi

@SalarianChemist Get real, you supported VG Chartz when 360 was doing fine and the site is unreliable now that it's PS3's turn to shine? Rrright. You'll soon tell me that the gameshop I buy from in Finland is biased towards PS3 too? Also, before you mock Killzone 2 more, how about actually playing the game?

tdawg2594
tdawg2594

just to let some of you guys know the main reason why the PS3 is in last is because of sony messing up themselves and im a fan but sony messed themselves up nintendo nor the 360 has anything to do with sony coming last place just to point that out

tdawg2594
tdawg2594

Sorry to say vgchartz is reliable it just isnt reliable when you date back to last gen because vgchartz has stop tracking lots of games that sold from last gen they are now focusing on this gen of the gaming market the website was made to track games and consoles so saying it isnt reliable is like saying gamespot isnt reliable in gaming news which it is although vgchartz gaming articles comes out way before gamespot

toddze
toddze

Maybe they should focus more on making quality console games instead of focusing on the DS games. its pretty sad when a handheld games tops charts over the console games I am looking at you DS and wii. Atleast give the console a port of the games. If DS did that with WII I would actually buy a wii

cybrcatter
cybrcatter

If Japanese are buying less games, then what are they pretending to socialize with instead?

sumoslug
sumoslug

Uggz, I'm tired of Nintendo dominating sales all the time. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but the one reason I can't bring myself to like the wii is that it may have a little too much appeal, as it often draws those "casual gamers." "Final Fantasy? Shut up, nerd. You need to get Game Party 2, I'm the best at that game! I can't get past the second level, but I beat my little brother at it ALL THE TIME!!" You know, THOSE casual gamers.

Incubus420
Incubus420

I will admit that handheld sales were amazing this year, but you can not forget that they are around 30 bucks a pop. Each 360 or PS3 game is 60 bucks a pop. You tell me which would sell more.

Incubus420
Incubus420

FF13 moves over 1.5 million copies in just 2 weeks lol. WoW!

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

@thekey Ummm...no. The first 52 weeks from launch for both the PS3 and the 360 were 5.6 million units (give or take)...however with the 360's 1-year head start their total unit sales were just short of 12-million.

thekey
thekey

@Yuck_Too The 360 at that point had sold 11.6 units world wide. (As of Nov 17, 2006 with 6million units shipped that fiscal year) @SalarianChemist So your saying that a CNN report that was posted in 2007 on Youtube is more realiable than VG chartz?(Because I know your babling was geared towards me.) Just face it PS3 sales have gained major ground and you hate it. VG Chatz is world wide not just the US(NDP)

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

@Solid_Snake4RD "I expect PS3 to beat Wii next year.DS and PSP will be top again.360 will continue to slide" ~~~~ lol...are you serious?...for that to happen the Wii would have to sell ZERO units and the PS3 would have to DOUBLE their world wide sales since they launched 3-years ago. Forget the fact the Wii is outselling the PS3 over 2:1 as it stands...

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

@thekey Ummm...you have been here since the 360 shipped and I find you quite amusing for the most part...having said that. We both know that the 360's 1-year head start resulted in just shy of 6-million units sold before the PS3 shipped, almost the exact same amunt the current gap in sales is...not the 11-million you just made up to prove your point.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

@SalarianChemist However they update their sales estimates with NPD numbers when they get released...so really all things considered it's as accurate as you can get and there are no better sources to use.

laptop12
laptop12

final fantasy 13 doesn't very well sold huh

atopp399
atopp399

SalarianChemist I see you get a lot of crap on here and honestly never really read through a lot of your comments because they are so long but I agree with your last one. Especially on the part about sales. I have heard that too and do not think hardware and software shipped to stores should count as sales. I never trust Sony's sales data anymore.

Kiaininja
Kiaininja

I feel that Japan's game market is slower this gen. With my PS1+2 I imported great quality puroresu(J-Wrestling), dating sim and action games. I was hoping to buy a next-gen puroresu game for the PS3 but that dream looks like it's not going to happen this gen.

akiwak
akiwak

I gotta think that sales 'Of Crappy Games' fell because the majority of the good games to come out last year sold well. Good studios stayed open and the bad ones had to fold. I must say 2009 was a good year for gaming. I know 2010 is going to deliver in spades also, can't wait to get the games this year.

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

@mariokart64fan VG Chartz cannot be trusted for sales data. It has been established many times that VG Chartz is not reliable due to the fact that they use a "proprietary" method of gathering sales information. This "proprietary" method specifically says that it based on "information from the manufacturer." The main problem with allowing information from "the manufacturer" to be what ultimately determines the results is the fact that Sony no longer uses the same method for calculating sales as Nintendo and Microsoft. In fact, Sony has a reputation for telling outright lies and deceptions in the videogame industry for the past two generations. For example, Sony's executive, Kaz Hirai, claimed that the PS2 would have playable graphics similar to the Disney movie, Toy Story. Obviously that never happened. Another example is the way that Sony's executive, Ken Kutaragi, claimed the PS3 would include 2 HDMI outputs when it launched. Sony also claimed it would be mandatory for all PS3 games to run at 1080p resolution. Sony also said we would see PS3 games running at 120 frames per second. Obviously, all of these statements ended up being false. And then there is the classic example of Sony's executive, Jack Tretton, claiming that the video we saw of Killzone at the 2005 E3 was actual game footage. In reality, it was not the actual game being played. The fact of the matter is, in the spring of 2007 Sony changed their corporate "definition" of the word "sold." Up until spring of 2007 Sony defined the word "sold" in the exact same way that Microsoft and Nintendo did. The original definition of the word "sold" claimed that a unit was classified as "sold" when it had been "shipped to a retailer or wholesaler who had purchased the unit." But in the spring of 2007 it became clear that Sony was not going to achieve their original sales goals due to the disappointing launch of the PS3. Sony had originally claimed their goal with the PS3 was to sell 6 Million PS3 units by the spring of 2007. However, the PS3 was only able to sell 1.4 Million PS3 units by the spring of 2007. As a result, Sony's shareholders became very disappointed, which motivated Sony to change their corporate definition of the word "sold." The new definition classified an item as "sold" the instant it came off of the production line and was "placed into inventory." In other words, even if retailers had not purchased the units, the units were classified as "sold" even though they were sitting in an inventory warehouse. Proof of this is the way that Sony's executive, Jack Tretton, was interviewed in the spring of 2007 and he specifically claimed that the PS3 had "sold" 5.5 Million units. In fact, Tretton claimed Sony was only 500,000 units behind their sales goal. But we know this wasn't true, because the PS3 had only "sold" 1.4 Million units. Obviously the reason for this conflict is because of the fact that Sony had "produced" 5.5 Million units, but there were only 1.4 Million "owners" of the PS3. I have absolutely no doubt that Sony has "produced" 31 Million units. This explains why VG Chartz claims that Sony has "sold" 31 Million units; after all, Sony (the Manufacturer) is where VG Chartz gets their information from. However, I have absolutely no doubt that the PS3 is nowhere near 31 Million in terms of the number of consumers who "own" the console. The proof of this is seen in the way that the Xbox 360 versions of software almost always outsells the PS3 versions by a 2:1 ratio. I would like to list one hyperlink, in agreement with the Gamespot Terms of Use, as a benefit to fellow Gamespot readers so that they can see the interview I am referring to where Sony's executive, Jack Tretton, is interviewed. This explains the sales data in a chart, clearly showing that the PS3 had "sold" 1.4 Million units, despite the fact that Sony was claiming to have "sold" 5.5 Million units. Information like this should be interesting to anyone who took the time to read a sales-based article like this on the Gamespot website. Interview with Sony's executive proving the conflicts in the word "sold" can be seen here: hxxp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFIDsTsWJHw

dwd_27
dwd_27

square enix does like selling games in japan

shadowysea07
shadowysea07

lol dragon quest knows how to keep games coming that people will buy XD. as for the gold and silver remakes its the longest pokemon game so a remake was of course going to sell well.